March 14, 2012
When Pete Magill suffered a severe tendon injury back in November, he feared his running days were over.
"After a month had gone by, I couldn't even run a step," the 50-year-old South Pasadena resident said. "And I had an aversion to cross training. But a friend told me to try the ElliptiGO."
The elliptical bicycle, made by ElliptiGO, Inc. in Solana Beach, looks like a cross between a scooter and a traditional bike.
It comes equipped with standard brakes, handlebars and shifters. But instead of pedaling, the rider adopts a running-like motion, which propels the bike forward.
"You can go an average of 15 to 17 mph, and you get even get it up to 25 mph, but you'd be working really hard," said Kevin Steinbuch, ElliptiGO's western regional manager. "We're marketing these to former runners, injured runners and for cross training."
For Magill, the ElliptiGO proved to be just what the doctor ordered.
"I wasn't all that optimistic when I started," he admits. "But within two weeks my tendon started feeling better, and pretty soon I was able to do a three-mile run. I'm nearly back 100 percent now."
Magill would certainly know. As an elite runner, he is accutely tuned into his body - an awareness that has helped him win several national titles.
In July of last year he ran the fastest 5K race among Americans 50 and older, and he holds the same U.S. title for the 10K. He is also a six-time Masters National
cross-country champion, and was the 2009 National Masters Road Race Age Group Athlete of the Year.
A senior writer and columnist for Running Times magazine, Magill also coaches the Southern California USATF club Complex Racing and has led clubs to 13 national masters championships in cross-country and road racing.
Magill said the ElliptiGO will allow him to continue to run and diversify his training regimen so he won't be punishing his legs as much.
"When you get older recovery takes longer," he said. "And that cuts down on how much you can train."
ElliptiGO founder and former Ironman triathlete Bryan Pate was inspired to create the world's first elliptical bicycle in the wake of injuries that sidelined him to the point where could no longer run for fitness.
"This bike gave me back the opportunity to be a competitive runner," Magill said.
Steinbuch said the ElliptiGO is ideal for athletes who want to stay in shape but do less damage to their bodies.
"It's low impact," he said. "When you ride it there's no knee, joint or back pain."
The company also touts the bike's upright posture, which makes them far more visible in traffic to both motorists and pedestrians.
The bikes come in three models. The ElliptiGO 11R (11 gears) is $3,499, the 8C (eight gears) is $2,499 and the 3C (three gears) sells for $1,799.
The bikes are available at
or at more than 200 retail locations. Check out the Dealer Locator on the company's website to find the nearest ElliptiGO dealer.